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Free Solo

I recently watched the most incredible documentary called Free Solo about the world's best free solo climber in the world. Alex climbs El Capitan's 900-metre vertical rock face at Yosemite National Park with NO ROPES. What touched me deeply and what I took away from the documentary is just how deep our childhood wounds impact us. Just how deep they are sitting right at our very core of who we are, how we see ourselves and how we view relationships. Who we let in, how we let others in, the strategies we have to avoid intimacy and protect our fragile hearts. The ways in which we bravely open up our hearts in the name of love. His driving force - from the gut - was to strive for ultimate perfection as a climber. As he said you have to be perfect when free solo climbing, there is no room for mistakes. As a fellow recovering perfectionist I could really identify with this search for being 'good enough' in the eyes of our parents. Every climb he did - he needed to do another climb - it's like the climbs didn't get to the core wound and let him know that indeed he is more than good enough. This emotional armour that he needed to wear to climb, to take such death defying risks, impacted his relationship in the documentary. His girlfriend cried and shared with the camera how painful it was to talk with him, share her emotions and to not be emotionally validated, to be met by his emotionally armoured self. The most intimate moment in the documentary is when his girlfriend is cutting his hair. You see this smile on his face and for a tiny glimpse of a moment he reveals his heart and drops the armour. Armour is there for protection. Armour is there for a reason. We can be kind and gentle to ourselves when we peel back the layers. It takes time to unveil the armour. Image: photographer unknown


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Emma Spiegler

 

©2020 Emma Spiegler. 

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